Dressing up for a soiree can be fun to assemble, but knowing the proper dress codes can be tricky to navigate. While dinner or cocktail parties may be part of your social routine, how often do you get invited to a black and white-tie affair?
In addition to dressing up for a soiree, it can be difficult to decipher what’s “festive attire” versus “outdoor elegance.” Even though you know a sophisticated look is best, each event requires particular attire. This article will break down the proper dress codes for each special occasion.
1. Black-Tie Event
A black-tie event is about wearing formal attire, meaning glamorous gowns and tuxedos. For this type of upscale party, wearing traditional black apparel has always been a suitable choice. However, these events have evolved over the years. Now the proper etiquette for weddings, galas, ceremonies and holiday parties allows for festive colors.
A floor-length gown, luxurious satin or beaded material make the perfect option for formalwear. For a more minimal dress, you can add a statement to it with a pearl necklace and bold shoes. A clutch is also a must-have for dressing up or down f0r a soiree.
For men, the proper attire is a tuxedo with a black bow tie. An elegantly tailored suit also makes a great option, especially if the dinner jacket is a peak-lapel with one to two buttons.
2. Cocktail Party
Cocktail attire is semi-formal, allowing you to dress with more colors and silhouettes. For instance, lace, velvet and chiffon are rich enough to elevate the dimension of black attire. Plus, darker colors can accentuate any form when you’re going for a slim look.
Women should wear a modest hemline. At best, a general rule is to keep it two inches above the knee. To see if the hemline is too short, stand up with hands at your sides. Your dress shouldn’t be much higher than your fingertips.
Other shades such as jewel tones or pastels can also make up for a refined silhouette. Consider going for a bold, playful look with a puffy sleeve. Cocktail attire is more about style and attitude over what you should be wearing.
To opt for a unique style, make sure you take the opportunity to wear a statement shoe.
Men should go for a timeless look. Wearing a darker suit that has a nice fit should be what separates you from the office. Consider dressing up with a white shirt, dark tie and black oxfords with a presentable shine.
3. A High-End Resort
High-end resort dress codes fall within the line of a tropical theme garden party, most commonly seen at outdoor weddings. The best way to think of the attire is breezy and lightly elegant.
Women should be able to dress fashion-forward but comfortably. Maxi dresses with an exotic print are acceptable if you celebrate a beach wedding. Flowy dresses are also fun to wear, especially if you add a touch of brightly colored jewelry.
If you’re heading to an alfresco luncheon, avoid wearing heels so you don’t drag your feet in the sand. Instead, go for embellished flats, metallic wedges or beaded sandals.
Bright white or natural colors like blue, yellow or coral go accordingly well with the natural surroundings.
If you’re going to a country club, men should opt for a sports jacket. It would help if you also went for a distinctive look. Consider pairing a casual suit jacket with khakis for a classic preppy style.
Birthdays, engagements and anniversaries call for creative attire, allowing you to dress to impress. Women can wear fun colors, bold jewelry and sparkly sequins. Often, you’ll know what colors and fabrics to wear when you know about the event’s details. However, silhouettes can range from vibrant minis to sophisticated maxis.
Consider opting for lighter colors such as pastel colors like princess pink for spring and summer soirees. Switch it up with jewel-toned velvets and crepes if the months are cool.
You could also add more glam by wearing a bib necklace, bold heels or a sequin clutch.
Men’s festive attire should include a classic suit with a brightly colored tie or a velvet blazer. You could also pair gray flannel trousers with a cashmere sweater. Or try corduroys with a collared shirt and a sports jacket.
5. Holiday Festive
With holidays such as Christmas or New Year, you’ll want to step it up from the typical festive wear. Looks for these occasions are generally fun, which suggests you should wear sequins and lots of sparkles.
Try not to go overboard with formal attire. Instead, cozy knit sweaters tucked into a pleated skirt, or a sequined top with wide-leg pants create the perfect mix of dressy and casual.
Men can go for a more sophisticated look and dress up in a wide-lapeled jacket layered with a turtleneck sweater.
Which Style Will You Choose?
Hopefully, these fashion tips gave you good advice on what to wear and should avoid entirely for each special occasion. Now that you have some ideas in your back pocket, which style will you choose when dressing for a soiree? If you’re still confused about what to wear, consider asking the host or friends about what they’ll be wearing to the party. When in doubt, always come overdressed if you’re afraid to be too casual.